Reconciliation isn’t done just because Stephen Harper apologized or post secondary history classes adds more to its curriculum about residential schools. This is simply the start of a long journey to heal the destruction between the new nations of North America with the older ones. Recognition and acknowledgement of wrongs done is a step on the path, and the process will continue for generations, if not forever.
Using reconciliation as its theme, Onishka, a Montreal-based arts organization whose mandate is to bridge indigenous peoples worldwide by honoring their diversity, richness, and resilience, presents five different shows over four days. Emerging and established indigenous contemporary artists from June 1 to June 7 offer productions of dance, poetry, theatre, and spoken word for the second Indigenous Contemporary Scene programming.
Je Me Souviens brings seven performance-based interventions from Kahnawake and Montreal-based indigenous artists. These are the contemporary pow wow singers the Buffalo Hat Singers, actor Marco Collin, visual artist Nadia Myre and Johanna Nutter, associate artistic director of Jumbles Theatre Ange Loft and ReCollection Kahnawake Collection, Carlos Rivera, Nina Segalowtiz, and filmmaker Meky Ottawa.
This Time Will Be Different (TTWBD) is a performance and sound installation by Lara Kramer and Émilie Monnet. Kramer is a choreographer known for her acclaimed production Native Girl Syndrome. Monnet is the founder of Onishka Productions. Together, they will be taking a critical look at what they call “the national reconciliation industry” and analyze if there has been any change as a result of the inquiries that have taken place.
Piriti has three generations of Indigenous artists from different territories, Skeena Reece (Metis/Cree), Charles Koroneho (Maori), and Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache). They will stage three short performances that look at the transmission of knowledge between generations and individuals.
Reckoning, a production of ARTICLE 11, is a theatrical performance that uses movement, video, and text to show three separate experiences with reconciliation.
Finally, a full day discussion on reconciliation will take place. The first relates to land acknowledgement — concerning the unique and lasting relationship between indigenous peoples and their lands. The second looks at three indigenous artists who are also activists.
Tickets and information about all shows can be found on the Onishka website, HERE. Shows take place June 1- June 9.